What is rutin?

Rutin is a bioflavonoid, or plant pigment, that is found in certain vegetables and fruits. Apples are full of rutin. Buckwheat, most citrus, figs, and both black and green tea also contain rutin.

Rutin has powerful antioxidant properties. It also helps your body produce collagen and use vitamin C. You can add rutin to your diet by eating foods that contain it or taking it in supplement form.

Although there are no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) guidelines for use of rutin due to lack of research, this bioflavonoid is commonly used medicinally. It’s included in more than 130 registered therapeutic medicinal preparations. It’s also thought to have a number of health benefits.

Traditionally, rutin has long been used to aid circulation. It’s thought that rutin can help strengthen and increase flexibility in blood vessels, such as your arteries and capillaries.

Strengthened blood vessels can improve your overall health. This may help ease related conditions, including bruises, spider veins, and varicose veins. There is also evidence that rutin can aid in treating hemorrhoids (which are caused by swollen veins) and recovering from hemorrhoid removal surgery.

Research shows that rutin can prevent the formation of blood clots in certain animals. This suggests rutin may reduce the risk of blood clots. Preventing blood clots can help lower your chances of developing life-threatening conditions such as:

If you have a history of heart disease or blood clots, or are on blood thinners, you need to discuss using rutin supplements with your doctor.

There’s sufficient evidence that rutin can help lower LDL cholesterol. In one study, people with diabetes who had a history of hypertension were given 500 milligrams (mg) of rutin once a day. Researchers found a decrease in the plasma LDL cholesterol levels of participants. The study suggests that this is a result of rutin’s antioxidant properties.

One of rutin’s common uses is to ease arthritis pain. A study found that it aided in suppressing oxidative stress in people with arthritis. This may be due to rutin’s strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. There’s also evidence that rutin improves knee function in some who have arthritis.

It’s generally safe to eat rutin-rich fruits and vegetables. However, there are side effects associated with taking rutin supplements. These often are a result of ingesting it in higher and more concentrated doses. Some common side effects of taking rutin supplements include:

  • blurred vision
  • stomach upset
  • headache
  • flushed skin
  • rashes
  • nervousness
  • changes in heartbeat
  • fluid accumulation in your knees
  • muscle stiffness
  • high white blood cell count

If you experience any of these side effects while taking rutin supplements, consult your doctor. Side effects may decrease as your body adjusts to the supplement, but ask your doctor about risk factors first. If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction, stop taking the supplement immediately and seek medical attention.

Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should not take rutin supplements. There isn’t enough information to indicate that it’s safe for them. However, eating natural sources of this bioflavonoid isn’t harmful.

The FDA doesn’t regulate rutin. If you want to start taking a rutin supplement, talk to your doctor first. Mixing supplements with certain medications may cause unwanted interactions or side effects. Your doctor should be able to advise you on these.

Also ask your doctor how much rutin you should take on a daily basis. The usual recommendation is 250 mg two times a day. Adults using rutin to treat osteoarthritis may be advised to take 250 mg three times per day, or every 12 hours.

High amounts of rutin occur naturally in foods like buckwheat, asparagus, unpeeled apples, figs, black tea, green tea, and elderflower tea. Eating an apple or figs, or drinking a glass of green tea, can automatically introduce more rutin into your diet.

You can also incorporate more rutin-dense foods into your routine with recipes like these:

Before making any wholesale changes to your diet, you may want to consult your doctor to ensure your eating plan is a healthy one.